sell bell2December 1979 was the first time my dad let me “Ring The Bell” after he sold a Jackie B Cooper video (or cassette tape) automotive sales training series. I was only 15 years old and thought I was just ringing the bell for him. It was not until I grew older, had my own family, did I start to really understand and realize the significance  of the “Sell Bell” and what it meant to ring it “for my dad”.

He was more than a father to me. He was my best friend, coach, boss, teacher and so much more. Even though God called him home 24 years ago this Christmas, I still have him in my heart. I still have our memories… I still have our “Sell Bell”…

The “Sell Bell” now sits on my desk and even though I moved from automotive sales training to direct and digital marketing decades ago, it still rings. Between me and hundreds of salespeople I trained throughout the years, we have rung that sucker at least 50,000 times (That’s a lot of direct mail campaigns)!

I look at that bell sometimes and just start laughing. It is amazing what that bell will trigger sometimes. I remember walking into my dad’s office one day and he was on hold waiting to talk to a dealer. He had both arms up above his head like that cat in the poster hanging on for dear life. The phone was carefully balanced to his ear via his propped up shoulder. I said “dad, what the heck are you doing”? He just smiled and said “I called a dealer and the receptionist asked me to hold on“! (Rim-shot!)

My dad was so good on the phone. He was professional, respectful of the dealers time, and always took time out to say hi and talk with the receptionist.JackieBCooerVidPic

Back then, not all dealers knew who Jackie B Cooper was. It took persistence, massive action, drive, and discipline. Convincing dealers to invest in a $4,000 video training series back then was not common. The series always paid for itself the first week though, (if they applied the training). Jackie B always believed deeply that selling was very personal. He said “I can’t be you, you can’t be me, but we can share ideas, you use what works for you and I will use what works for me”. But my dad loved Jackie B Cooper and loved selling to dealers even more. He taught me everything I know.

If you’re just starting out in sales, get yourself a “Sell Bell” or some ritual that is performed after every win. I have had dealers to this day that ask me to keep them on the phone to hear the Sell Bell after they signed up for another campaign! Commit to yourself to get that bell for 2014.

Remember, technology is great but people still buy or don’t buy, primarily based on feelings. That will never change. If they feel good about you, they will do business with you…

Enjoy the ride…Keep the faith…Ring The Bell!

Thanks to all car dealers that have entrusted me with their business from 27 years ago to last week!

Todd Vowell


Buy Mail Direct Inc.




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